Jordan Graham's penalty helps earn Gills a point against Charlton.
A second-half Jordan Graham penalty was cancelled out by a late Chuks Aneke goal as Gillingham and Charlton shared the points in a 1-1 draw at the MEMS Priestfield Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Substitute John Akinde was fouled inside the penalty area having been nudged in the back after getting in behind the Charlton defence. Graham’s penalty was a strong one as the glove of Ben Amos was not enough to keep it from going into the back of the net.
It came after Charlton had a penalty of their own in the first half, as Ryan Jackson was adjudged to have fouled Omar Bogle. Conor Washington’s spot-kick was saved brilliantly by Jack Bonham.
With less than ten minutes to go, Aneke equalised as he and fellow substitute Paul Smyth linked up before he smashed the ball into the top corner from close range.
Steve Evans made three changes to the team that defeated Woking in the FA Cup a week ago. Zech Medley, Scott Robertson and Vadaine Oliver all came into the starting eleven in place of Declan Drysdale, Tom O’Connor and John Akinde.
Henry Woods was part of the matchday squad whilst Tom O’Connor was not fit enough to be included.
It took the Gills less than two minutes to have their first chance of the game.
Jordan Graham created space down the right-hand side, and his left-footed cross found Dominic Samuel just inside the penalty area. However, his volley went wide of the far post.
Andrew Shinnie came close moments later following a misplaced goal kick from Jack Bonham. His kick towards the middle of the field fell straight to the Charlton midfielder, but his shot from long range went just wide of what was an empty net.
In the 13th minute, Bonham did brilliantly to deny Marcus Maddison from a free-kick.
Maddison's left-footed effort from 25 yards was struck well towards the top corner. However, the Gills number one did well to tip the ball over the crossbar and out for a corner.
Ben Watson was the next man to test Bonham from a free-kick.
He saw the Gillingham goalkeeper off his and tried his luck from range. Fortunately, Bonham was not caught out and tipped the ball over the crossbar.
In the 23rd minute, Gills had a great chance to take the lead.
Graham did well to get in behind the Charlton backline, and fired an effort towards the far corner. Ben Amos parried the ball into the path of Kyle Dempsey, but his prod towards goal was immediately smothered by the goalkeeper.
Amos did brilliantly to deny Vadaine Oliver just shy of the half-hour mark. Connor Ogilvie curled a lovely ball towards the back post which Oliver met first, but his half volley towards goal was straight at the Charlton goalkeeper.
In the 39th minute, Ryan Jackson was adjudged to have pushed Omar Bogle inside the penalty area and Charlton were given a penalty.
Conor Washington stepped up and saw his powerful effort brilliantly saved by Bonham. Washington’s penalty was aimed towards Bonham’s bottom right-hand corner, and he guessed correctly to push the ball away from goal with an excellent one handed save.
Samuel came close just before half-time with a shot from long distance. He managed to create some space from nearly 30 yards out and his effort bounced just past the post of Amos.
HALF-TIME: Gillingham 0-0 Charlton Athletic
Moments after half-time Albie Morgan had a great chance to give Charlton the lead.
A cross into the box eventually fell to Morgan who had space on the edge of the six-yard box, but Ogilvie did brilliantly to get a touch on it which sent it over the crossbar.
It took a fantastic Jack Tucker sliding clearance to keep the scores level after a good spell of possession from the visitors.
Ian Maatsen's shot from the edge of the penalty area was only parried away by Bonham, and with two Charlton strikers bearing down on the loose ball, in came Tucker to slide in and clear the ball from danger.
Oliver had the Gills’ first opportunity of the second half just after the hour.
Graham did well to get down the line and his cross towards the penalty area was met by the striker, but his header looped over the goal and did not trouble Amos.
In the 64th minute, John Akinde replaced Scott Robertson, and seven minutes later he won a penalty having been pushed in the back. Ogilvie’s bal;l;’s ball down the line gave the striker something to chase, and he received contact as he approached the ball, and after a few seconds of thinking about it, the referee eventually decided to award the penalty.
Graham stepped up and shot towards the middle of the goal and, although Amos got a hand on it, Graham’s effort was too powerful and went into the back of the net.
Oliver had a great chance to double Gillingham’s lead in the 79th minute.
Graham played a defence cutting through ball to Oliver who beat the offside trap. He was one-on-one with Amos, but the Charlton keeper did well to get on top of Oliver’s shot that he tried to roll underneath him.
That miss would prove costly as, in the 82nd minute, substitute Chuks Aneke put Charlton back on level terms.
Paul Smyth, who was also a substitute, worked some space on the edge of the penalty area before passing to Aneke. The striker was on the edge of the six-yard box and blasted a left-footed shot into the top corner giving Bonham no chance.
FULL-TIME: Gillingham 1-1 Charlton Athletic
Gillingham: Bonham; Jackson, Tucker, Ogilvie, Medley; McKenzie, Dempsey, Robertson (Akinde 64’), Graham; Oliver (Coyle 86’), Samuel
Unused subs: Walsh, Maghoma, Woods, Willock, Eccles
Charlton Athletic: Amos, Gunter, Matthews, Pratley, Maatsen, Watson, Morgan (Purrington 88’) Shinnie, Maddison (Gilbey 67’), Bogle (Aneke 66’), Washington (Smyth 67’)
Unused subs: Maynard-Brewer, Purrington, Pearce, Levitt